The first, I landed right-side up,
The next, I saved my skin.
The third, I won at cat and mouse,
The fourth, I dragged me in.
The fifth, I wasn’t curious.
The sixth, I wasn’t swung.
The seventh, I escaped the bag.
The eighth, I got your tongue.
So of my deaths, I’ve sidestepped eight
with guile and movements deft.
And while I’m in a quantum state,
I’ve still a half-life left.
I was encouraged by my eventual (I won’t say successful) completion of the I poem, so I decided to see if I could write something similarly short on a card or two.
I was amused to see a cat on the nine of spades, as a cat is often said to have nine lives… although eight are imaginary. As well as that, the French equivalent of our idiom, ‘to call a spade a spade’ is « appeler un chat un chat », literally ‘to call a cat a cat’.
I had many candidates for the concluding stanza of this poem, including this one:
So as of yet, I haven’t died
I’m safe in Erwin’s box.
As long as no-one looks inside
I’ll stay a paradox.
But the temptation to use ‘I’ve still a half-life left’ was too strong. I like the way ‘half-life left’ sounds, and the fact that ‘half-life’ recalls the earlier counting of lives, the superposed alive and dead states of the cat, and the half-life of the radioactive element which is presumably in a box with the cat. I don’t particularly like the other two lines I had to shoehorn in for the rhyme.
I hope my title is accurate… I don’t know much about the notation for quantum superposition.